Chris Cline, the billionaire mining entrepreneur and coal tycoon and benefactor to southern West Virginia, and a reported six others died in a helicopter crash early Thursday in the waters off the coast of the Bahamas, friends of Cline reported to The Register-Herald on Thursday afternoon.
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice confirmed reports of Cline's death Thursday evening in a tweet. Nassau authorities confirmed that a submerged helicopter with seven aboard had been found near Walker's Cay. Bahamas police verified late Thursday that seven Americans — four women and three men — had died but did not identify the victims.
Friends of Cline's had reported that one of Cline's daughters was among the victims, along with two young adults from Beckley, unidentified friends and an unidentified helicopter mechanic from Florida.
The helicopter was en route to Fort Lauderdale from the Bahamas due to a possible illness of someone on board, when it crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, Cline's friends in Beckley reported.
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